Showing posts with label eating healthy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eating healthy. Show all posts

Monday, May 16, 2016

Five Ways to Stay Mentally Healthy

May is Mental Health Month, so we’re sharing five things you can do to improve your brain health, some of which may surprise you!



1. Connect with others in your community 

Having strong relationships with the people around you will enrich your life. People who maintain relationships with their families, friends, neighbors, and others in their community benefit from a stronger support system, which lowers stress and helps us to keep things in perspective.

Volunteering your time for a cause or issue that you care about is a wonderful way to give back to your community, meet new people, and also boost your mood. For volunteer ideas, you may consider checking out online resources including VolunteerMatch.com, or reaching out to your local United Way.

2. Pump up your gray matter with meditation 

A 2015 study conducted by a Harvard affiliated research team found solid evidence that meditation can actually transform your brain’s gray matter, sustaining a positive and relaxed state. They found that daily meditative mindfulness exercises resulted in two positive benefits:
  • Boosts in gray matter density in the part of the brain that increases self-awareness, compassion, and introspection.
  • Decreases in gray matter density in the areas of the brain associated with anxiety and stress. 

3. Eat your way to mental health

It turns out that what (and even when) you eat can positively, or negatively, influence your brain health. For example:
  • Certain fats are healthy for your brain, helping you maintain a happy state. UCLA's Brain Research Institute determined that the Omega-3 fatty acids in foods such as salmon, walnuts, and kiwi fruit not only enhance memory but also reduce depression, schizophrenia, and dementia.
  • Another study determined that cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, kale, collard greens, etc.) can improve your mental functioning. 
  • Research shows that foods with beneficial bacteria, known as probiotics, can decrease inflammation, which in turn positively affects your mood and cognition.
  • Dark chocolate’s antioxidants increase blood flow to the brain, which aids both mood and memory.
  • Studies also show that the curcumin in turmeric can reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease, ADHD, and autism. And a 2004 study showed that the smell of cinnamon can boost brain activity. Nutmeg is often used to reduce fatigue and stress. 

4. Remain positive! a According to neuroscience research, engaging in negative thoughts causes the brain to be hardwired for chronic negativity. Complaining -- an offshoot of anger that leads to anxiety and stress -- compromises our immune systems, upsets hormonal balance, and makes us susceptible to stroke and heart disease. And our complaining words negatively influence the brain chemistry of those around us.
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5. Aromatherapy: smell your way to brain healtha

Research suggests that some fragrances may have a clinically significant effect on your mood. For example, one study found that roasted coffee bean aroma resulted in stress relaxation in rat brains. Another study found that the scent of orange oil decreased anxiety in dental patients and reduced reliance on antidepressant medications.

This information should not to be considered medical advice, so first consult with your physician before considering any new health regimen. And if your doctor prescribes medicines, don’t forget that you can significantly reduce the cost of your prescription with the free FamilyWize card
 
www.familywize.org/card
 
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
 

Monday, April 25, 2016

6 Ways to be Your Healthiest Self



Being healthier doesn’t mean you need to overhaul your lifestyle. Simple changes can add up and make a big difference. Try implementing some of our recommended changes below, and feel the effects on your mind, body, and wallet.


1. Eat well. 

Indulge in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats on a regular basis. Skip the processed foods, especially those that are fried and/or high in sugar.

2. Exercise.

Get moving. Whether it’s a daily walk or even low-impact exercise such as stretching, Pilates, yoga, and swimming, these forms of movement all have a great impact on your overall health.

3. Get your ZZZs.

Sleep is an important aspect of your overall health, allowing all the systems of your body to renew and recharge. Since sleep is crucial to good health, physical and mental, and overall well-being, if you’re having difficulty with sleep, be sure to see your health care provider.

4. Make an appointment with your doctor. 

With most insurance plans, an annual preventative visit is now free. Take advantage of that by checking in with your doctor to discuss your health – even if you’re not having any issues. Your doctor can often recognize problems before they become more challenging. In this way, you can help ward off catastrophic issues and save on your health at the same time.

5. Consider changing medications.

 If you do require meds (either prescription or over-the-counter), consider a generic or other lower-cost option, including mail-order pharmacies. In some instances, another medication might treat your condition at a lower cost. Of course, changing or modifying medication should always be done under the supervision of your physician.

If you are picking up prescription medications, remember to always use the FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card. Whether you are insured, underinsured, or uninsured, the savings card will save you an average of 43% on your medications. It’s easy to use: visit our website to print a card, download a card using our free app for Apple or Android, or request a card be mailed to you. Just remember to always have the card or app with you when you visit the pharmacy!

6. Do a benefit check-up.

Do you really know the full benefits available from your health insurance coverage? In some cases, your health insurance may offer perks such as a membership (full coverage or at a discounted rate) to a designated health club or gym. Yet, many individuals are often unaware of all the extras insurance offers, and the money they could be saving. Take time to review your health insurance plan to ensure you’re taking full advantage of all the benefits available to you, another smart way to save on your health.

Prevention is one of the key factors when it comes to saving on your health. These six tips can help prevent illness and/or injury before it occurs, develop an open line of communication with your doctor or health care provider, and put you on the path to a healthy, long life.

Live Healthy. Live Smart.
-FamilyWize